Gateway Casino strike in Kamloops, Okanagan officially over with ratified agreement | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Gateway Casino strike in Kamloops, Okanagan officially over with ratified agreement

Striking BCGEU members are pictured on the picket line outside Cascades Casino in Kamloops this past summer.
November 09, 2018 - 1:59 PM

Workers at Gateway Casinos in Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton have voted in favour of a new contract, ending a labour dispute that sparked a 19-week strike.

“I am so impressed by the solidarity and courage of our members,” B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union president Stephanie Smith says in a media release. “They should be proud of what they achieved by sticking together throughout the bargaining process, especially over the past 19 weeks on the picket line.”

The union represents approximately 700 workers at Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Limited. Gateway operates the Cascades Casinos in Kamloops and Penticton, Lake City Casino in Vernon and Playtime Casino in Kelowna.

The four-year deal includes an average 23.5 per cent wage increase over the life of the agreement and improved benefits – particularly for part-time workers.

“Our members are going back to work, which is great news,” Smith says. “But the ratification vote was close, which means there is more work to be done in all four of these workplaces. That work starts as soon as the picket lines come down.”

Casino workers will begin heading back to work this weekend as operations resume pre-strike staffing levels.

The union represents table game workers, slot attendants and cashiers, along with count room, kitchen, security, guest services and maintenance staff.

Gateway Casino says in an emailed statement saying that they were "pleased with the outcome of the vote."

"We know the past few months have been challenging for all involved and we thank our customers for their patience and loyalty throughout the labour disruption. We now turn our full attention back to our business and are committed to a smooth return to regular business over the coming weeks," the statement says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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